Archer McCue – December, 2004 – Dec. 25, 2016


Archer during her heyday. We think she was 4 at the time.

Archer McCue died on Christmas morning 2016. She was 12.

Archer was a lab/chow mix that we discovered at the Cowley County Humane Society Animal Shelter at Strother Fields in April, 2005. She was the last of her brothers/sisters to be chosen. Perhaps, that made her the most fortunate. She came to a good home for dogs. We brought her home after we lost our Golden Retriever Darwin. She stood guard over our home ever since.

Her dark coat most definitely gave her a look of a lab. But from a distance you could see a look of a chow. And then there was that black spotted tongue that most certainly gave her a unique look amongst the masses of black Kansas labradors.

I always wonder what a dog would be like if he/she would be a human. For Archer would have been the humble mother, who would work to get the job done, would quietly take a second job to feed her family, and be protective of her loved ones throughout their lives. Archer would always put others first.

When we brought her home, we had a dickens of a time figuring out what to name her. Devin, my 9-year-old son, said her back appeared to have an arch to it. So we named her Archer.

It seemed to be the ideal name… until… I found out years later she was named after a character in a video game that my kids played on the Internet. They said I would not have approved of the name had I known the truth at the time and they were right. But it was too late when I finally knew the real story.

Archer loved her walks. When she was younger I would let her off her leach and let her explore. But better than other any other dog I have had, she was the most obedient. Oftentimes without a leash she would stop when I stop, would walk at the exact pace I would walk. She never had any obedience training, but she was definitely obedient.

She didn’t particularly care for male strangers and would oftentimes snap at them. It was her way of protecting the family. I would yell at her and she was immediately sorry slinking into her cubby hole. She was sorry and felt bad for quite awhile.

Throughout her life, Archer enjoyed the closet or the corner below my desk. She was always the guardian.

Archer is the first dog we have had that lived with us a full dog life from puppy to adulthood to her final sunset at a ripe old age. Our first two dogs, Barney and Darwin, had their lives cut short from cancer. Harley we never knew as a puppy.

But for Archer, her life was long for lab standards and she lived all of it on 22 Sunset Road.

During her final years, arthritis would get the best of her. But she still wanted that nightly walk. On the evening before her death, she took one last journey to Eisenhower Elementary school. It was uneventful like the rest. She took a few sniffs here and there. Those last few months she was leash-less. She was just too slow for the other dogs. But she managed to get in the full walk.

Archer was the best of dogs. Neither overbearing, rarely annoying and relatively quiet. She was always filled with a love only a dog can give a human.

And it was only fitting she died on Christmas morning when her family was all home to say goodbye.

RIP, Archer.


Getting Sumner Newscow back on your computer

Sumner Newscow note from publisherBy Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Saturday, Sumner Newscow and in Winfield crashed due to getting hacked by an unknown third source. We were out for 12 hours and returned Saturday evening. Since that point, however, several people are still logging on their computer and seeing a “Start Logic – this website is unavailable” page. Obviously if you are reading this, the problem has been solved for you. However, if you were having problems earlier this week or know of someone else who still can’t log onto our websites because of that message, here is what you need to do:

Your computer has a cache which is a component that stores data so that in future requests that data can serve you faster. So when we crashed Saturday and then rebooted, your web browser might have held on to the data of the previously crashed site. Some did, some didn’t.

In order to get Sumner Newscow back on your computer,  you must reboot a new page. There are several ways of doing this. One is to simply refresh the page again. One is to do a right-click and reload simultaneously. Another is to go to the search engine and “Google” or “Yahoo” and relink the site from the search engine. Eliminate your old bookmark. You can also switch browsers from say Internet Explorer to Firefox or Safari and Google Chrome or others. There are a lot of browsers out there to choose from.

Here is a website that can help you with emptying your cache:

If you are a tech guru, perhaps you have other solutions. Just send it to us in the comment section below. We enjoy providing you with news on a digital website. It’s technology that gives us great pains.

Making me a better person- the life of James Hannebaum

James Hannebaumby Tracy McCue — When my vocational agriculture advisor Jim Hannebaum from my hometown in Flagler, Colo. died last week, I knew this was going to be a huge story in my neck of the woods where I grew up, and for all state FFA’ers, who had donned a blue and gold coat in the 1970s and 80s.

For at one time, Mr. Hannebaum literally owned the community of Flagler and the Colorado State FFA organization.

Not that Mr. Hannebaum would ever acknowledge such hyperbole. It made him uncomfortable.

This week someone posted on Facebook that Mr. Hannebaum was responsible for 33 American Degrees, 19 FFA Colorado State officers, five state presidents and 106 State Farmer Degrees.

They forgot to include stats: like public speaker winners, FFA creed speaking winners, student vo-ag project winners, or putting on some of the greatest FFA banquets in the state of Colorado or nation for that matter.

For me, I have often wondered how many Parli Pro state championships did he accumulate as a coach. I am proud to say I was on one of those teams.

A Parli Pro team, short for parliamentary procedure, is something you can’t really explain to people outside the FFA world. I have given up trying. People can comprehend football state championships, or a marching band contest. But unless you live in the confines of the FFA world, Parli Pro is something as foreign as lacrosse is to Kansas. Basically, you have six players, who conduct a very short meeting in the confines of maybe a five minute time frame (I can’t remember that detail) and get points based on the number of motions you introduce.

It’s a whirl. It’s the ultimate team sport and you have to move quickly. And when it came to Parli Pro teams, Mr. Hannebaum was the ultimate maestro — the Vince Lombardi. He ran vo-ag departments like a tight ship, but — in my opinion — he was never better than when he was coaching a Parli Pro team. And, it might have been during these times that he may have been at his happiest – a trait he struggled with throughout his life.

I hadn’t seen Mr. Hannebaum in 25 years, maybe longer. But he was always someone I thought about. I’m a disorganized mess. But I am always reminded during those particularly messy times of mass chaos, I could hear Mr. Hannebaum’s voice yelling at me “Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance.” It’s a voice that irritates me greatly. But I strive to be better the next time.

Mr. Hannebaum had a gift for making us better. And it just wasn’t the state FFA officers. I don’t think he ever realized what impact he had on the middling students – those who just needed to be steered in the right direction. I don’t have any statistics on the matter, but I can’t think of any of his students who were ever caught breaking the law, or becoming a low-life pile of nothing that ever stepped into his program.

Mr. Hannebaum taught us to be harder workers, to take pride in what we did, to speak clearly, to do the right thing. Having no wife or children of his own, his full attention was on us – the privilege few who took his classes and become part of the FFA culture.

I never became a farmer. I never welded a beam after my senior year of high school. I never used my Parli Pro skills to correct people at public meetings, because quite frankly, it really isn’t that important and I don’t like coming off as a pretentious jerk. I don’t think of myself as a leader and like I said before I’m a disorganized mess. Mr. Hannebaum had little tolerance for disorganization.

But I couldn’t begin to measure the positive influence and impact this one teacher had on me.

Mr. Hannebaum, if you are somehow able to read this, I know I wasn’t your favorite student, and we had our differences. I’m sorry for making you so mad you knocked a hole in a window in your office.

But I want to thank you for all you have done for me.

You made me a better person.

You made everyone around you a better person.

Your legacy will forever be with us. I hope you have found that inner peace that I believe eluded you for much of your time on earth.

You’re deserving of eternal happiness. Because when you were here on earth, little did you know how much happiness you nurtured inside all of us.

Harley, the McCue dog, died on Feb. 19, 2013

Harley on April 2, 2005 with my son, Devin, who was 9 at the time. If you notice a black spot in the picture that was my other dog Archer, who was a pup. I remember I was trying to get a picture of my son and the pup but typical Harley was standing in the way.

Harley on April 2, 2005 with my son, Devin, who was 9 at the time. If you notice a black spot in the picture that was my other dog Archer, who was a pup. I remember I was trying to get a picture of my son and the pup but typical Harley was standing in the way.

Harley McCue died on Feb. 19, 2013. He was 16, or 17, or maybe 18.

We might as well have called Harley The Energizer Bunny for he kept going and going and going.

Upon looking at a trusted Wikipedia page, the median longevity of a Basset Hound is 11.3 years. In an United Kingdom study among the 142 deceased Basset Hounds, the oldest dog lived to be 16.7 years. We don’t know how old Harley was since we got him as an adult male. But the chances are very high he may have outlived them all.

We decided to put Harley to sleep Wednesday. He was having congestive heart failure. His arthritis was so severe that on Thursday for the first time he could not walk. He had been suffering from dementia for more than a year, and the highlight of his day was going out to the front yard for a small stroll.

When my son Quinn, 11, and I saw him for the last time on that sunny February afternoon at the local vet clinic, he seemed content. He knew it was time to go.

Harley’s life can be characterized of enduring about everything. If he would have been a soldier in the U.S. Civil War, chances are he would have lived through the war despite getting shot a few times.

We don’t know much about Harley in his early days. He had a couple of owners. He was said to have been hit by a car at least once, maybe twice. His tail was always crooked and never really worked since we got him.

He was also said to have suffered from frost bite.

Barbara Hamilton, a volunteer for the Humane Society who fervently tried to save all dogs in Wellington, called us one day in early 1999 and asked us if we could take in a stray Bassett Hound. We had just purchased a full-bred Golden Retriever pup, who was a mess of a dog. The thought of having another dog didn’t seem appetizing. But someone said a second dog would be tonic for the first dog – giving him a companion and an outlet for its energy.

So we took Harley in. And then we discovered he had heart worm. He was skinny and looked to be on his last leg.

But Harley would recover nicely. He eventually got well enough to go on walks and sniff out the neighborhood.

Harley lived a rather uneventful life thereafter, loved by all, but definitely his own player. He would outlive the retriever.

In 2009, we thought we were going to lose Harley again when suddenly he stopped eating. He got frail, and after being taken to a local vet, there was a fear that he had cancer, but the vet wasn’t sure. So we took Harley to the Oklahoma State University Animal Hospital in Stillwater to see what was specifically wrong with him.

The only thing wrong with Harley was his appetite. He had swallowed a small Nerf ball and it was stuck in his esophagus. They sliced the ball right out and Harley would go on to live another happy four years.

Harley was neither a great hunter, nor a mindful dog. He loved to roam but was never an obedient walker. Many a steak that was meant for human consumption ended in the pit of his stomach. He never said sorry.

But his greatest gift was making us smile, and being our companion.

Harley is the survivor of Tracy, Tami, Jarret, Devin, Allison, Quinn, Archer, Mac, Big, Little, and several fish.

He is now on the loose in heaven. Undoubtedly, sniffing around looking for a good steak.

The season is decided Thursday night against Winfield

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Tis the season to get out the calculators and crunch numbers. No we aren’t talking about the presidential election or tax season. It’s the annual “how to get your team in the playoffs” time.

Wellington and Winfield are battling on the final game of the season for one of the two district playoff spots. This is huge for the Crusaders who are trying to get back to the playoffs after a one-year absence. Nobody – not Mulvane, not Clearwater, not Wellington, not Winfield – has clinched anything. There is a way for the Crusaders to win and still miss the playoffs. There is a for the Crusaders to lose and still make the playoffs. Continue reading

Wellington Rec Rap: Oct. 22- Nov. 4

Rec Rap Oct. 22nd-Nov. 4th:

Registration is open for Youth Basketball boys and girls leagues through Nov. 2nd without a late fee.  Continue reading

Wellington Police Notes: Monday, Oct. 22, 2012

Wellington Police Notes for Monday, October 22, 2012: Continue reading